Species: Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

Information About

Brown Bear

Quick Facts

Ursus arctos




kavingali, kavirlill’er, keggalvalek, naparngal



Viewing Scale

Chances of seeing Brown Bear in Alaska

Brown Bear in Detail.

The Brown Bear (Ursus arctos) is the one of the largest bear species. It can weigh anywhere from 660 to 1,720 pounds (300-780 kilograms) and stand as tall as 10 feet (3.04 meters). The largest subspecies of brown bear, the Kodiak Brown bear, is found on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Its size rivals that of the polar bear to be the worlds largest land carnivore. Fish and Game separates the main subspecies of brown bears by costal brown bears which are any general subspecies of brown bear within 50 miles of the coast, past that are considered grizzlies.

Due to the milder climate, the coast provides an array of vegetation they can eat. This allows them to grow bigger, and live in higher concentrations than in the northern and interior parts of the state. The brown bear has a dietary range of grasses, sedges, including roots and berries , to ground squirrels, carrion, up to moose, caribou, or the occasional whale carcass that may wash on shore. Improperly stored food and garbage from humans will attract bears. The density of brown bear depends on the supply of food, which can be as low as one bear per 300 miles, or where there is plenty of food multiple Brown Bear within 15-20 miles. (This does not include other species of bears that could be in the area.)

Brown bears are generally solitary animals they have been known to group together in feeding areas, garbage dumps, salmon spawning streams, these areas are also places that people can observe brown bears.

Brown Bears are a trophy game often hunted for their hide, claws, or heads. In Alaska Fish and Game does not require hunters pack out the meat. Bear meat is not required to be taken due to the range in the quality of the meat. A bear which has been feeding on fish and or garbage often gives the meat a highly unsavory taste, where as a bear feeding on berries and grasses often has an appealing taste. Fish and Game manage bears numbers to sustain moose and caribou populations, allowing for sustainable populations including effects of hunting by humans.

For your safety around bears: observe them from a safe distance, never approach bears especially one near an animal carcass, or one with cubs. Never run from a bear, don't surprise a bear. When you're in the outdoors reduce food odors, secure food, and garbage.



Habitat of Brown Bear in Alaska


Pictures of Brown Bear.